Former CEO of Amaya saw salary surge by 71 per cent last year, filing shows

MONTREAL – The former CEO of Amaya saw his salary surge by 71 per cent in 2015, a year that saw the Montreal-based online gaming company get its books into the black.

David Baazov’s total compensation was about $1.04 million, including $41,227 in option-based awards, the company said in a regulatory filing ahead of its annual meeting June 28.

That compared to $639,847 in 2014, when Amaya completed its US$4.9 billion acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt, a deal that made it the world’s largest online poker company.

Amaya (TSX:AYA) earned $239 million on $1.37 billion in revenues last year, a turnaround from its loss of $7.5 million on $553.7 million in revenues a year earlier.

Baazov took an indefinite paid leave of absence in March as CEO and chairman. At the time, he said he wanted to focus on charges laid against him by Quebec’s stock market regulator and prepare an offer to buy the company.

He faces five charges, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya and communicating privileged information.

Baazov was charged along with two other people and three companies following an investigation by the Autorite des marches financiers into alleged insider trading. They all have pleaded not guilty. Their case is scheduled to be heard in Quebec court on Sept. 7.

He also recently announced plans not to seek re-election to Amaya’s board of directors.

Chief financial officer Daniel Sebag, who is also leaving his position on the board, received $832,232 in compensation, up from $532,741 in 2014.

Rafi Ashkenazi, who took over as interim CEO after Baazov took leave, saw his total compensation more than triple to $2.14 million from $665,616.

Ashkenazi started 2015 as chief operating officer of the Rational Group, a subsidiary, and became its CEO in November.